Hand-Arm Vibration is vibration conducted into workers’ hand and arms. It can occur when using hand-held power tools such as grinders and pneumatic drills, through hand-guided equipment such as lawn-mowers, or by working with hand-fed machines such as forge hammers.
Short-term occasional use of these types of machines should seldom cause any issues, but for people who work with them frequently, or for long periods of time, the vibration can cause serious issues such as HAVS (Hand arm vibration syndrome) and CTS (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome). Both of these conditions can seriously impair the quality of life of the sufferer in various ways including:
- Tingling and numbness in the fingers
- Loss of strength in the hand and fingers
- Blanching of the fingers; when the fingers go white temporarily but becoming very red and painful upon recovery
These symptoms may come and go, but prolonged exposure to vibration can make these situations permanent.
The law states that risks from vibration must be controlled, information and suitable training must be provided, and health surveillance should be employed to monitor the health of any employees who could potentially be exposed to dangerous levels of vibration.
The Vibration Regulations include an exposure action value (EAV) and an exposure limit value (ELV) based on a combination of the vibration at the grip point(s) on the equipment or work-piece and the time spent gripping it.
Employers have a responsibility to reduce the risks from vibration to the lowest level that is reasonably practicable.
Manufacturers and suppliers of vibrating machinery also have a responsibility to provide health and safety information in equipment handbooks. When equipment is purchases the supplier should always provide the following information:
- Warning of any vibration-related risks from using the equipment
- Information on safe use and, where necessary, training requirements
- Information on how to maintain the equipment
- Information on the vibration emission of the equipment
Have you suffered as a result of vibration in your employment?
If you or someone you love has been affected by vibration as a part of their employment, you could be entitled to claim for compensation. If your quality of life has been affected by issues relating to vibration in the workplace you should contact your doctor who will be able to offer advice on minimising the discomfort, but then you should contact one of our highly experienced solicitors. We will swiftly be able to talk through your case and find out if you are entitled to make a claim. Contact us today to start the process of getting the pay out you deserve.